New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is no stranger to controversy, but that conflict usually stems from conservatives reacting to her unrealistic progressive stance on everything from energy to social programs. Last week, though, a rebuke came from a surprising source; an organization made up of black pastors.
The Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) formally called out Ocasio-Cortez in writing this week, issuing a rebuke via a press statement. The statement, drafted by Reverend William Owens, president of CAAP, calls for Ocasio-Cortez to “stop co-opting the civil rights movement” for her own personal gain and political agenda.
According to Williams, the statement was necessary; CAAP strongly believes that those who marched for civil rights should defend the movement from “interlopers” like Ocasio-Cortex, who would take advantage of the sacrifice and long work of others.
“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has fallen into the bad habit of comparing her political goals to the American civil rights movement,” said Owens in a press statement. “While it is obvious she understands the importance of that movement, she does not seem to realize that her statements trivialize the work of those who marched.”
The pastors’ complaint stems in part from a recent Instagram live video Ocasio-Cortez broadcasted while she was eating, and shared her thoughts on civil rights and today’s progressives. According to Breitbart, Ocasio-Cortex compared people that don’t fall in line with climate change to those who fought against the civil rights movement:
“There a lot of people who hide the fact that their families and their grandparents fought against the principles of equal rights in the United States,” she said during the broadcast. “So just know that while a lot of people can hide what their grandparents did … in the civil rights movement, you should also know that the Internet documents everything. And your grandchildren will not be able to hide the fact that you fought against acknowledging and taking bold action against climate change.”
The statement by Owens and the CAAP highlights and denounces Ocasio-Cortez’s attempt to use the sacrifice of others to forward her own political agenda:
“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is attempting to borrow the dignity of a great political movement to lend legitimacy to her own proposals,” Owens said. “But her ideas must stand or fall on their own merits, not ride on the suffering and pain of others.”
In addition to the statement provided to the media about Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the civil rights movement, CAAP also launched a formal petition calling the politician out directly.
“We, the undersigned, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Nashville, Tennessee. We were students at Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and American Baptist College. And today, we join with our fellow Americans in objecting to your use of the Civil Rights Movement in a misguided effort to promote your unrelated progressive agenda.”
Ocasio-Cortez has yet to respond to the petition or the press statement about her mis-use of the sacrifice of others to advance her own political agenda.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter